The Scoop: Parents often want to help their children overcome anxiety, depression, and other mental health issues, but it’s not easy — especially in small towns with few local therapists available. Fortunately, Manatee can help make treatment more accessible to modern families in the U.S. This virtual mental health clinic provides virtual care, conducts mood checks and promotes engaging therapy activities for both parents and children. Plus, the newly launched Building Brave Kids anxiety program is a 12-week family therapy course based in California. Thanks to Manatee’s digital programs and online therapy, families with children have reliable outlets for addressing their emotions and creating healthy relationships.
Manatee works to uphold good mental health throughout the U.S. The therapy group uses technology to help parents and children overcome personal challenges and improve their relationships.
Manatee CEO Damayanti Dipayana said many families come to therapy out of a desire to fix an issue within the child. But it’s rarely as simple as that.
“Any family will know that everything has to do with our relationship with each other,” she said. “The ultimate happiness of our life is determined by the depth and the quality of our relationships.”
Despite their best intentions, parents may not know exactly what to do to help a struggling child and strengthen their parent-child relationship. They may not even be on the same page with their partner or co-parent about the right course of action. A Manatee therapy program can ensure every member of the family is part of the same healing journey and have incentives to maintain good mental health.
Mental health has become a hot topic over the last year or so. During the COVID-19 pandemic, families have faced unprecedented challenges and endured anxiety, grief, and isolation while living under stay-at-home mandates. Parents and children have had to adapt to new routines and limit their social lives, which has sometimes increased tensions at home. This has been particularly true in blended families where multiple parenting influences can cause conflict.
Fortunately, help is available through Manatee. The company’s online therapy programs can strengthen the relationship between parents and children. The app provides emotion tracking, coping tools, and journaling for children, while offering parents sage guidance for communication and discipline. This offers a good foundation for a happy home life with good mental health practices in place.
Anyone who has questions about the evidence-based programs — or needs some professional mental health advice — can schedule a 20-minute consultation call with Manatee for free.
The App Seeks to Modernize Mental Health Care
Damayanti grew up with an older brother who struggled with mental health challenges, and she saw the impact it had on her family. As a young adult, she realized that the lack of modern mental health support created extra challenges for her friends and family.
After graduating from university, she worked in the tech industry as a lead strategist and marketing executive. Then she became a mother, and her perspective changed. She started to question her career and sought a way to help modern families like her own.
“I was very passionate about mental health, and it was really a combination of my passion and my experience,” she said. “I knew that with technology you can build really amazing products for today’s families. But you look at mental health and the healthcare industry, and nothing has changed for 60 years.”
Damayanti used technology to provide mental health support for families from all walks of life. The Manatee company has seen a lot of success stories from parents and children who have strengthened their relationships through their programs.
Damayanti wanted to create a program that would engage children and parents in a conversation about mental health. She saw an opportunity for technology to deliver therapy insights in a straightforward and effective way — without having to visit a therapy office.
As a parent, she knew that having a child sitting in a room with an adult to express their feelings wasn’t always helpful. She wanted to offer an alternative that would be more accessible and inviting. Thus, the Manatee app was born.
The Manatee app offers self-guided coursework, journaling, and other evidence-based therapy. It’s an easy way for families to track their mental health and make progress toward their goals throughout their day-to-day lives. The family can address their concerns and develop new coping skills without the inconvenience of waiting rooms and traditional therapy sessions.
Manatee offers important tips to improve communication and reinforce the relationship between parent and child. For instance, it advises parents to ask more targeted questions beyond “How was your day” to encourage children to share their thoughts and feelings.
Children can earn points within the app as they achieve their individualized therapy goals. Such goals could include writing in their journal or sharing how they feel with a loved one. When they’ve completed their goals, they can cash in their points for fun rewards established by their families.
Offering Programs for Online or In-Person Support
Manatee works in tandem with many large healthcare systems, so parents can underwrite its therapy services as part of their coverage plan. Its accessible programs include a six-week digital course known as the No B.S. Guide to Anxiety.
American families can use this six-week course to learn tactics and strategies that stop anxiety in its tracks. The program can empower parents to support confident children ranging in age from 5 to 18, and participants receive weekly emails with additional studies and resources.
The Manatee app provides a lot of interactive and practical mental health services, including scripts for parents talking to their children about specific issues. The app’s family tracking and reward system encourages everyone to get involved in improving their mental health and relationships.
“They can really engage with some of the tools and skills we’re teaching and apply them right there in the moment,” Damayanti said. “They can also set goals and keep track of their progress.”
Manatee has harnessed the power of technology to put proven therapy work into people’s hands, and it also offers more personalized virtual therapy for California residents.
Families can take part in weekly therapy sessions with trained professionals. The child will attend a session every week, and parents are invited to participate every other week. If desired, the entire family can attend one session a month.
The Building Brave Kids program lasts three months and provides solutions to conquer anxiety. It offers guidance and exercises that families can use every day.
“There are a lot of resources included. On top of therapy, you get a full clinical assessment at the beginning, middle, and end, so you can see the reduction of symptoms and how you feel as a family,” she said. “We’re really working to reduce anxiety over the course of 12 weeks.”
Manatee Uses Evidence-Based Strategies to Get Results
Damayanti said the team behind Manatee is diverse and enthusiastic. The mental health professionals come from different backgrounds and nationalities. Some come from North America, and others are from Argentina, Colorado, Ukraine, and the Netherlands.
“We’re an eclectic bunch, and what that means is that we bring an outsider’s perspective to a very antiquated industry,” she said. “It’s one of our superpowers.”
One 9-year-old child joined Manatee to tackle social anxiety issues. He was a smart student who wanted to build his own computer. His parents incentivized him to complete Manatee’s programs by rewarding him with computer parts after he completed his goals for the week.
“At the end of the six-month program, he reduced anxiety significantly to the minimal to no range, and he also built his own computer,” Damayanti said. “It shows the beauty of working together and rewarding kids in a way that’s very personal to them.”
Looking ahead, the Manatee team is growing its Building Brave Kids program to empower parents and engage children in mental health solutions.
Damayanti said it’s been rewarding to see Manatee’s positive impact on children and families, and she has also brought therapy’s insights into her own home.
“Starting this company has made me 10 times the parent I was,” she said. “We’re working with clinical psychologists, therapists, and child experts to improve the way parents and children handle mental health challenges.”